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Critical Trends on the Healthcare Front for Wisconsin Employers

Critical Employer Benefits and Healthcare Trends for Wisconsin Employers

The sun is shining for employers in Southeastern Wisconsin! Amazon has opened a new fulfillment center along the I-94 corridor, Uline opened a new warehouse in Kenosha, and soon Foxconn will also be putting down roots.

Add to the list the upcoming openings of Ikea and the new Bucks arena, as well as our exciting new streetcar system that will transport residents and tourists throughout our fine city. We’re looking at thousands of new jobs, large purchase orders, expansion loans, and new housing demands. Wisconsin employers are enjoying a business cycle that has not been seen in a long time.

As employers in Southeastern Wisconsin ride the wave of growth, how can you attract new employees to support your company’s demand? What are your strategies to keep your valued employees?  

We believe the answer lies within your benefits package. According to a recent employee benefits study conducted by Fractl, 88% of respondents would give either “heavy or some” consideration toward health, dental, and vision insurance when choosing between a high-paying job with lesser benefits and a low-paying job with better benefits.

While this is definitely good news for most employers, the downside is that healthcare costs are projected to increase by 2 times the level of inflation in 2018.

On July 26th, we’ll be hosting a seminar to take a closer look at how your organization can create a human capital strategy that attracts & retains talent—with a  focus on both hiring “smart” and engaging your multi-generational employees with a health plan they value and you can afford.  Read on for more information or scroll to the bottom to register!

In building an effective human capital strategy, the following four emerging trends will impact your company in 2018 and beyond.

Multi-Generational Talent Shortage

You inevitably have a multi-generational workforce that are serving the needs of your customers. We all do. Have you given thought to what these different generations value most in their benefit programs? We all need to. The competition for talent is real, and understanding who you employ and what they value has become strategic planning for many high performing companies.

What predominant generation do you employ? Millennials, baby boomers, generation Xers, or the evolving generation Z? What specific needs do these multi-generational segments value most? Knowing the answers to these questions is the first phase in structuring a benefit program that can attract and retain your greatest asset: your people.

Our seminar will discuss strategies your business can use to enhance the value of your benefit plan through structure and communication. This will make it more difficult for Foxconn (or others) to lure away your employees with a promise of a higher wage.

Rising premiums will impact your 2019 healthcare budget

In December of this past year, President Trump signed a tax bill that will ultimately repeal the individual mandate tax penalty beginning in 2019. How could this change impact your company’s health plan over the coming years?

urban-institute-2019-premium-increase-data A recent report by the Urban Institute estimates that the individual mandate repeal—combined with the expansion of short-term, limited-duration policies—will cause insurance premiums to rise by an average of nearly 20% in 2019.

The looming increase in premiums for the individual markets will impact employers in the 2-50 life market who are subject to community rating. If your company has less than 50 eligible employees, you’ll need a plan to address increasing health insurance costs as your premiums mirror the individual market.

Regardless of your organization’s size, your employee health plan is a great alternative to the individual market. Tax advantaged contributions through a section 125 plan, an expanded PPO network, and lower overall costs will lift current participation levels in your health plan in 2018 and beyond.

It’s time to develop a strategy for keeping this plan affordable so your employees are financially protected. The message to your CFO is to expect a larger percentage of employees participating in the company plan as the individual market struggles with affordability.

Expanded funding alternatives set middle market employers on a new course

Employers in Southeastern Wisconsin have historically had some of the highest healthcare costs in the United States on a per employee basis. As a result, local employers have been pushed to the cutting edge in adopting innovative programs around wellness, consumer driven plans, and narrow networks to minimize the year-over-year impact of rising costs. While these programs have had an impact, it’s time to put the insurance carrier market on notice that double digit increases are unacceptable.

The next phase in the evolution is underway as middle market employers are turning to flex funding, benefit captives, and self funding their health insurance programs. These funding alternatives can be a great strategy for controlling costs for your company and your employees, while mitigating certain taxes and profit margin components you would otherwise be paying to an insurance carrier.

Since a change in your funding arrangement can represent a new set of risks for the first time buyer, it is vital to understand some of the key concepts to determine if this approach is right for your company. Come to our seminar to learn some of the basic components to see whether flex/ level funding, benefit captives, or self funding might be avenues worth exploring.

Reference-based pricing (RBP) is on the horizon. Is your self-funded healthcare plan ready for this?

If your company chooses to self fund its health plan, implementing a fixed fee reimbursement schedule that is based on Medicare reimbursement rates can help to control medical costs. By using historical Medicare claims data, which is publicly available, your organization can partner with a Third Party Administrator (TPA) that will reimburse your employees, doctors, and facilities on a % of the Medicare reimbursement rates. This is an up and coming trend that has both providers and insurance carriers nervous. Come learn the answers to all the what, why & how questions your Chief Financial Officer may be asking in the not-so-distant future.

To register for our upcoming seminar on this topic, please fill out the form below! Or click here for more information. We hope to see you there.

Seminar Registration